ALL PRODUCTS COMPATIBLE WITH ADOBE PHOTOSHOP v22!

Sean Archer's ProPortrait™ Tutorial

INSTALLATION

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Go to the Actions tab.
  3. Click the menu icon and select "Load Actions".
  4. Load this file: user/Sean Archer ProPortrait™/Photoshop Actions/For Photoshop v22+/SEAN ARCHER'S PRO PORTRAIT.atn
  5. See below to View In Button Mode

VIEW IN BUTTON MODE

To make our Actions easy to use, we recommend viewing them in BUTTON MODE. Click the menu icon at the top right corner of the Actions panel and select "BUTTON MODE" and then drag the side of the Actions panel to adjust its width until the buttons line up vertically (see below).

REQUIRED PREPARATION

  1. Most of the Actions in this product require you to first run the Actions in the REQUIRED PREP group.

  2. Run each Action in this group in numbered order:

    1. RAW PROCESSING - Optimize skin tone and luminosity
    2. PRO MASKS - Creates subject and background masks
    3. RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS - Aids in visualizing tonal inconsistencies

1 - RAW PROCESSING

STEP 1 - IMPORT REFERENCE FILE

  1. Find the included jpg file called “archer_face_reference.jpg”
  2. It should be located in the original downloaded folder:
    username/Sean Archer ProPortrait™/Photoshop Actions/Reference Files/archer_face_reference.jpg
  3. After it appears in your file, click the “enter” key on Windows, or the “return” key on Mac to place it.
  4. READY TO DO IT? Click Continue so you can execute these instructions.

STEP 2 - BALANCE SKIN TONE & LUMINOSITY

Adjust the Camera Raw Filter to get a nice luminosity balance as well as great skin tone.

  • To balance luminosity of your image, try hitting AUTO in the EDIT section then adjust sliders to taste.
  • For great skin tone, start by clicking the White Balance Eyedropper Tool (I) on an area in the image that should be neutral gray.
  • If you need to manually adjust White Balance to get great skin tone, see the image below.

MANUALLY OPTIMIZE SKIN TONE

  1. Start by measuring skin tone by positioning the curser over the skin.
  2. Note the RGB values in the Histogram.
  3. Ideal skin color values are when Red is the highest value, Blue is the lowest value and Green right in between them. Stated as a formula: (Red Value + Blue Value) ÷ 2 = Green Value.
  4. Under White Balance, try adjusting the Temp and Tint settings until your color values are close to this formula.
  5. Position the Camera Raw window to the side or below the main window to compare your adjustments to the reference faces behind it.
  6. Click Continue so you can execute these instructions.

STEP 3 - COMPLETE

  1. Keep the RAW PROCESSED smart layer below any layers that have effects or adjustments that you want to apply individually.
  2. You can edit the original image by double-clicking the RAW PROCESSED smart layer, editing it, saving it, and closing it.
  3. You can adjust the Camera Raw settings non-destructively by double-clicking the Camera Raw Filter just below your RAW PROCESSED layer.
  4. At any time, you can refer to Sean Archer’s reference images just by making the archer_face_reference layer visible and bringing it up to the top of the layers.
    When you are done with this step, you're ready to move on to the next Action!

2 - PRO MASKS

STEP 1 - CREATE SUBJECT & BACKGROUND MASKS

  1. Click Continue to open the "Select and Mask" window.
  2. Click (v) to View in Overlay Mode.
  3. Click (r) for the Refine Edge Brush to clean up around the hair and edges.
  4. When the mask looks good click OK.
  5. For an in-depth tutorial on the "Select and Mask" tool go to: http://bit.ly/masks22.
  6. READY TO DO IT? Click Continue so you can execute the above instructions.

STEP 2 - CHECK YOUR MASK

    1. Review your mask around the edges of your subject
    2. If your mask needs cleaning up, use a brush to paint around the edges of your subject
    3. A WHITE brush adds to the subject, a BLACK brush takes away from the subject
    4. When you are done with this step click the PLAY button (►) at the bottom of the Actions panel or if your Action panel is in “Button Mode” click the HIGHLIGHTED RED BUTTON.

STEP 3 - SUBJECT & BACKGROUND MASKS CREATED!

  1. Your masks have been placed in a group called PRO MASKS at the bottom of your Layers.
  2. They will be needed by the Actions that come after this Action.
  3. You can quickly make a selection from them: 
    1. On Mac press “Cmd” + Mask
    2. On PC press “Windows” + Mask
  4. You're ready to move on to the next Action!

3 - RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

USING RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

  1. You can use this group for FREQUENCY SEPARATION, LOCAL DODGE & BURN & DEPTH CONTOURING.
  2. These tools are designed to help you see inconsistencies in skin texture, luminosity and transitions.
  3. Always keep this group at the top when retouching.
  4. Keep the B&W group on when using this tool.
  5. Select each of the Contrast Layers to zero in on transitions between Highlights, Mids and Shadows.
  6. Turn on and off these layers to identify areas that need to be retouched.
  7. Turn on and off the Face Topography to reveal shapes of transitions you may want to smooth out.
  8. When you are done retouching, you can delete this group

USING THE CONTRAST LAYERS IN RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

  1. To make the subject look beautiful, the retouching goal is to create soft, smooth transitions between shadows and highlights.
  2. Contrast Layers help you see irregular transitions.
  3. For each Contrast Layer, try turning on and off Face Topography - this helps you see the transitions easier and look for irregularities.
  4. Depending if you are working between highlights and midtowns, or midtones and shadows, you can select the different Contrast Layers to see the transitions.
  5. You may also want to tweak the Contrast Adjustment Layers to best isolate transitions (see below).

PRO SKIN RETOUCHING

  1. The Actions included in this group are designed to give you a comprehensive workflow for retouching skin.
  2. For problematic skin, run all the Actions sequentially.
  3. Each of the Actions in this group take a different approach to skin repair - as you become familiar with them, you will be able to decide which to use selectively for less problematic skin issues.
  4. After you work through all the Actions in this group and you’ve selected the adjustment layers you like, you may want to run “DELETE HIDDEN LAYERS” below to conserve disk space and file size.
  5. For a full video tutorial of this Action go to: http://bit.ly/ProPortraitTutorialVideo
    To make it easy, click the menu icon at the top right corner of the Actions panel and select "BUTTON MODE" and then drag the side of the Actions panel to adjust it's width until the buttons line up vertically.

1- NEURAL SKIN REPAIR

**PHOTOSHOP VERSION 22+ IS NEEDED TO RUN THIS ACTION

If you are using an older version of Photoshop, skip this action. In addition, you will also need the following prior to running this action:

    1. Run the RAW PROCESSING Action. If you need to run RAW PROCESSING, click Stop, and run that Action first.
    2. NEURAL FILTER must be installed. If you need to install NEURAL FILTER, click Stop and follow these instructions:
      1. Go to Filter > Neural Filters and click Install.
      2. Then download the Skin Smoothing filter by clicking the cloud icon.
      3. Then click the filter Cancel button within Neural Filters without turning on any blue switches.
      4. Return to this action and re-run from the start.

ADJUST SKIN SMOOTHING WITH NEURAL FILTER

  1. By default the action applies a moderate amount of Skin Smoothing but you can adjust if desired.
  2. Add or subtract the settings for Blur and Smoothing to achieve the best results.
  3. Be careful, too much can make the subject look to over-processed. 
  4. Make sure the Output is set to “Smart Filter”.
  5. We’ve included more tools to improve skin so be conservative with the amount of effect you apply in this step.
  6. Remember, at any time you can double-click Neural Filters under the Processed Original layer to make adjustments later.
  7. If your subject has good skin (as does the subject below), you might want to skip this Action or simply turn off the Effect under the RAW PROCESSED layer after you run it.

2 - FREQUENCY SEPARATION

PRO MASKS & RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS REQUIRED

  1. If you haven’t run the Actions, PRO MASKS and RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS, click Stop, run them and then return to this Action.
  2. If you’ve already run them, Continue.

STEP 1 - DETERMINE YOUR MAGIC NUMBER

  1. To get your MAGIC NUMBER you have to measure the pixel height of the face.
  2. Select the Marquee tool (hit the "m" key - the tool icon is a box with a dashed outline).
  3. Drag a box around your subject’s face.
  4. While dragging, pay attention to the pixel HEIGHT (H) of the face.
  5. Next, take the last 2 digits off and that's your MAGIC NUMBER.
  6. In the image below: H: 1309 px, take off the last two numbers & you get a MAGIC NUMBER of 13.
  7. Get your MAGIC NUMBER and remember it!
  8. READY TO DO IT? Click Stop to execute the above instructions

STEP 2 - ENTER YOUR MAGIC NUMBER

  1. In this next dialog box for Dust & Scratches enter your MAGIC NUMBER in the box for Radius.
  2. Leave the Threshold at 0.
  3. READY TO DO IT? Click Continue to execute the above instructions.

STEP 3 - SMOOTH OUT TONES & TRANSITIONS

  1. The image you see is slightly blurred, it will be clear after the next step when it turns on the High Frequency layer.
  2. In the Low-Frequency layer of FREQUENCY SEPARATION, select the Lasso Tool (hit the "L" key).
  3. Set FEATHER equal to your MAGIC NUMBER.
    Draw shapes over areas of the skin where you want to smooth out color tones.
  4. For each shape you draw, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and use the same amount of your MAGIC NUMBER.
  5. Keep drawing shapes and blurring until you have smoothed out irregular skin tones.
  6. Be careful not to do too much or it will flatten out the subject - you can always go back and blend more later.
  7. Use the RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS by turning them on and off to identify uneven patches of tone and luminosity which can be smoothed out with this step.
  8. READY TO DO IT? Click Stop to execute the above instructions

WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH THIS STEP

  1. If you're in “Button Mode”, click the HIGHLIGHTED RED BUTTON
  2. If you're in "Normal Mode" click the PLAY button (►) at the bottom of the Actions panel.

2 - PRO MASKS

STEP 1 - CREATE SUBJECT & BACKGROUND MASKS

  1. Click Continue to open the "Select and Mask" window.
  2. Click (v) to View in Overlay Mode.
  3. Click (r) for the Refine Edge Brush to clean up around the hair and edges.
  4. When the mask looks good click OK.
  5. For an in-depth tutorial on the "Select and Mask" tool go to: http://bit.ly/masks22.
  6. READY TO DO IT? Click Continue so you can execute the above instructions.

STEP 2 - CHECK YOUR MASK

    1. Review your mask around the edges of your subject
    2. If your mask needs cleaning up, use a brush to paint around the edges of your subject
    3. A WHITE brush adds to the subject, a BLACK brush takes away from the subject
    4. When you are done with this step click the PLAY button (►) at the bottom of the Actions panel or if your Action panel is in “Button Mode” click the HIGHLIGHTED RED BUTTON.

STEP 3 - SUBJECT & BACKGROUND MASKS CREATED!

  1. Your masks have been placed in a group called PRO MASKS at the bottom of your Layers.
  2. They will be needed by the Actions that come after this Action.
  3. You can quickly make a selection from them: 
    1. On Mac press “Cmd” + Mask
    2. On PC press “Windows” + Mask
  4. You're ready to move on to the next Action!

3 - RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

USING RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

  1. You can use this group for FREQUENCY SEPARATION, LOCAL DODGE & BURN & DEPTH CONTOURING.
  2. These tools are designed to help you see inconsistencies in skin texture, luminosity and transitions.
  3. Always keep this group at the top when retouching.
  4. Keep the B&W group on when using this tool.
  5. Select each of the Contrast Layers to zero in on transitions between Highlights, Mids and Shadows.
  6. Turn on and off these layers to identify areas that need to be retouched.
  7. Turn on and off the Face Topography to reveal shapes of transitions you may want to smooth out.
  8. When you are done retouching, you can delete this group

USING THE CONTRAST LAYERS IN RETOUCH ASSIST TOOLS

  1. To make the subject look beautiful, the retouching goal is to create soft, smooth transitions between shadows and highlights.
  2. Contrast Layers help you see irregular transitions.
  3. For each Contrast Layer, try turning on and off Face Topography - this helps you see the transitions easier and look for irregularities.
  4. Depending if you are working between highlights and midtowns, or midtones and shadows, you can select the different Contrast Layers to see the transitions.
  5. You may also want to tweak the Contrast Adjustment Layers to best isolate transitions (see below).